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The inaugural class of inductees into Hampton Roads Academy’s Athletic Hall of Fame includes two former Williamsburg residents who went on to play their respective sports professionally.
Williamsburg’s Matthew Behncke and Jim Reid, graduates of HRA in 1998 and 1989, respectively, joined now-deceased Herman Hogg, Thomas Yevak and the entire HRA football team for the 1977 season as the first group of athletes honored for their outstanding athletic achievements for the Navigators.
“We are immensely proud of our first five inductees who represent not only extraordinary achievements in athletics, but who are also the kind of people who truly deserve this recognition,” said Athletic Director Max Gillespie during an induction ceremony Oct. 17 inside the Spencer Lobby Gym at HRA. “They are all inspiring and reaffirm the balance of excellence in both athletics and academics that we strive to achieve at Hampton Roads Academy.”
Behncke, who was one of three freshmen to start for the Navigators varsity team, earned Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools Player of the Year honors and multiple first-team All-Conference selections as a four-year starter for the Navigators.
The Navigators saw unprecedented success during Behncke’s time as a starter, as HRA took home four TCIS tournament titles in as many years. During Behncke’s senior season, HRA earned a national ranking by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
After his career at HRA, Behncke attended Princeton where he garnered Ivy League accolades during his four seasons. In 1998, his freshman year, Behncke earned Ivy League Rookie of the Year before being named a second-team All-Ivy League selection during his sophomore year. During his junior and senior seasons, Behncke earned first-team All-Ivy League selections.
In 2002, the Dallas Burn, now known as FC Dallas, of the MLS drafted Behncke 18th overall. After playing three seasons with the Burn, Real Salt Lake drafted Behncke 14th overall during the 2004 MLS Expansion Draft. The 2005 season with Real Salt Lake proved Behncke’s final in professional soccer as Real Salt Lake waived him from the team at the end of the season.
While Behncke was unable to attend the induction ceremony, his father, Bob, provided a statement on his behalf.
“It’s an honor to be included in the inaugural class of the HRA Athletic Hall of Fame,” the statement read. “As I look back now at my 26 years playing soccer, some of the best memories occurred right here on these fields [at HRA].”
The other Williamsburg Hall of Fame inductee, Reid was a varsity football player for the Navigators for five years from 1984 to 1988. During his senior campaign, Reid earned HRA’s Male Senior Athlete Award and led the boys basketball team to a TCIS championship in which he earned Most Valuable Player for the tournament.
After graduating from HRA, Reid attended the University of Virginia on a full athletic scholarship from 1990 to 1993. In 1993, Reid earned first-team All-ACC honors as an offensive lineman during his senior year.
The Houston Oilers drafted Reid in the fifth round of the 1994 NFL Draft following his four years at Virginia. Reid played offensive tackle for two seasons with the Oilers before exiting the league for good and choosing to attend the University of Richmond’s law school.
Reid was present for the induction ceremony and praised HRA for helping him develop into a college and professional athlete.
“You don’t get an honor like this without a multitude of people that have helped you along the way. I have to give credit to my parents, my brothers, my teammates and all my teachers and coaches at HRA,” he said. “When people learn where I went to high school they sort of assume I made it to the NFL despite HRA, but I say I made it to the NFL, in part, because of HRA.”